Global pulp and paper company Sappi has selected Swiss digital technology firm ABB to handle the technology portion of its Vulindlela project.

As part of the deal, ABB will offer engineering, procurement and construction for the electrical, control and instrumentation services of the project.

The Vulindlela project is aimed at increasing production at the company’s Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, South Africa, by approximately 14%, as well as reduce the facility’s environmental impact.

The project, slated to complete in winter 2020, covers the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all electrical and automation equipment at the facility.

ABB Process Industries South Africa local business line manager John Manuell said: “Our ability to deliver a complete, multi-faceted solution, centred around a collaborative automation platform that supports the optimisation of the entire production process, was key to securing this flagship order.

“We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realising significant production gains.”

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The Vulindlela project will be based on the ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) and will use single channel, Ethernet-based Select IO for the decoupling operations of project tasks.

The project will benefit from other software tools such as Field Information Manager, enabling it to manage smart field devices and mobile workplaces.

The tool will allow operators and production staff working at the facility to access information from anywhere in the plant.

Sappi Vulindlela project director Wayne Weston said: “A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help futureproof our operations.

“As world leaders in dissolving wood pulp, we welcome this pioneering, integrated solution that will help us achieve our Project Vulindlela goals.”

Sappi will be able to gain total visibility into the orchestration and control of Sappi Saiccor’s entire operation. It will leverage ABB Ability digital solutions such as Asset Management, Energy Management, Safety systems and Manufacturing Operations Management.

The project also covers other operations such as extension of the 132kV distribution infrastructure, the medium voltage reticulation and the process electrification.